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Posts Tagged ‘Reality’

Glass Half Full - Glass Half Empty

Glass Half Full – Glass Half Empty

Life is strange, no doubt about it. We are either up or down most of the time. Sometimes just hanging on in the middle before setting off again on our space-time big dipper. I reckon that it’s all to do with our psyche-soul and the programming that been laid down in it during the formative years of our life.

Some folk are natural optimists. They are infectious to be around, always seeing the glass half-full. They appear to be thankful for the smallest of things and ride the wave of life without a care in the world. Others among us, whilst recognising that we have some water in our glass, worry that it is draining away, as we approach the inevitable empty glass – death. For us, life seems a great big tragic joke. For the half-full brigade it appears like a never-ending Disney ride.

I guess we inherit our psyche settings from our parents, at least to some extent. Watching from our buggies and cribs, we took note of how the big two-handled life’s affairs. Tone of voice, facial expressions, number of swear words, all swept into our fledgling soul. Armed with this data we headed into childhood and our own encounters with the twists and turns of life. Copying our parents was the automatic wiring that kicked in when both the good times and the bad times rolled. Admittedly, over the course of time, we added a few strategies of our own, but as a rule we were glass observers in the mould of our significant two.

And then along came God, to shake up the mix. Either the glass half empty God of legalistic religion, or the overflowing God of the Nazarene, Yeshua bar Yosef. Now I reckon our taste in faith has much to do with the early programming of our god-like parents. Those raised by glass half empty folk head straight for the certainties of black and white legal religion, while the half-fullers head for the overflowing ecstasy of glass-filled faith.

Of course things can change. One dose of Divine intervention and yesterday’s half full devotee is transformed into today’s overflowing aficionado. One dose of tragedy and the ecstatic, running over follower crashes to Earth with a bump, seeing a cracked empty glass lying before them.

So what is to become of us? Well, I reckon that life must be lived in balance. Doom and denial have no place in the spiritual Journey. For wisdom, is holding both glass views in tension. We live in a world of decay and one of new birth. Both play their role in the cycle of life. Like the ocean tide, life comes and goes. ecstasy embraces us, only to withdraw back into the waters of memory. Fear grips us, only to release its hold as the surge of Spirit breaks upon the shores of consciousness. We ebb and flow. We drink of both cups in the party of life.

And yet, it won’t always be so. For, in the fulness of time, we move on to another Reality, one where weeping is no more and fear is obsolete. Not the teasing touches of eternity, that come our way in life, but the real thing. The consummation of all that timelessly springs from Source. The place where the human spirit bursts into fulness, no longer needing the ups and downs of glass illusions. For here Reality has replaced reality, the Prototype the Shadow.

Meanwhile, lets not get too upset or thrilled with the state of our glass. Rather, lets watch and wait as the tides of Life take us where they will.

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Suspicion

Suspicion

In the world of metaphysical thought there abounds the negative vibe of suspicion. For me, it’s clearly observed in the mutual wariness between the dogma-defined Christian Tribe and its experiential next door neighbour, the Spirituality movement. I picture these two clans of thought standing back to back at the garden fence, unwilling to acknowledge that the other may just have some valuable glimpse of ultimate Truth.

I guess we’re back into the analogy of blind men each having a hold on the Elephant of Mystery. Holding onto the Trunk, the Christians believe that they have it all worked out in the person of Yeshua and all his extrapolated  traditional add-ons. The Mind, Body, Spirit folk have their hands on the Ears, believing that they convey Cosmic Consciousness, the answer to all our dysfunctional ills. And the result? Separate teacher-gurus, publishing houses, conference circuits, rituals and sub-cultures.

I guess that I’ve jumped into the wide chasm of mistrust between both camps, in my desire to write for both. We do so love our sense of Divine ownership, our compulsive, obsessional belief that we have it all and don’t need to cross into the mindset of the other. All that I need is my big black Bible, a good church and, of course, Jesus. I’m saved and on my way to the sweet by and by, unlike the other lot! Alternatively, I’ve had enough of the Nazarene and the guilt trips of his hypocritical followers, for I’ve found my inner Self, the authentic home of Cosmic Love. I’ve finally cracked the Me thing and don’t need an external divinity, thank you very much. Just top up my supply of crystals and mantra chants and I’ll be fine with my free-flowing chakras. Let the other lot do the us and them thing, for I now love everyone even though I don’t engage with them.

And so the partially sighted march on into certainty, brushing aside the challenges and opportunities for further growth which the other tribe provides. The meeting of minds rarely occurs, though in the case of contemporary, Christian writer, Rob Bell, it has taken place, though at the cost of being demonised as a heretic by fellow admirers.

So, is there really anything to learn from each other? Well, I most certainly reckon that there is. I’d better explain.

The Christian Tribe

Can the Christian band of brothers and sisters learn anything from the Spirituality movement.? May, I humbly suggest that they can. Firstly, the generousity of Divine Love and its inclusive nature. We are all born in the divine image, despite the protestations of guilt ridden St. Augustine. Something deep within, very deep within in most of us, possesses the essence or imprint of Divine Love. Hidden by ego and its swirl of fear-fuelled defensive postures, there is a pearl of great price lying there in the sands of our pained psyche. Only ego sees and us and them – God or Cosmic Source sees all mankind through the Window of the incarnated Tao-Logos, the Beloved Son. We followers of the Nazarene can afford to be much more expansive in our view of the Queendom and who populates it.

The Spirituality Tribe

The SpIrituality Tribe tend to focus on the positive sides of life. All very good, methinks for such a take on Self and others is much-needed in our pessimistic media-driven world. I love the exhilaration of celebrating this mystery called Life. Yet, there is a brokenness in our space-time world that many spiritual folk choose to ignore. Violence isn’t one of the main topics at Mind, Body, Spirit conferences. The violent execution of the Nazarene is irrelevant to our Self growth and meditation, goes the party line. Sometimes the Galilean gets a quick acknowledgement as a spiritual, wisdom teacher, before being airbrushed out of the main tribal metanarrative. Yet, I reckon the tragic end, and claimed resurrection of Yeshua bar Yosef cannot be ignored. It challenges our cultural and metaphysical take on Reality, especially Source Reality. I’d love the Spirituality gurus to discuss the Nazarene more often, something that might help their ex-Christian followers reconcile with their religious pasts.

Of course, I could go on and on. It’s a topic for further discussion and mutual respect. Meanwhile I’ll continue to try to do my little bit in encouraging the estranged neighbours to look each other in the eye, for, it’s there that we can truly glimpse Other. Left to our own devices we head into exclusivity, together we get to have a clearer picture of the Mysterious Elephant in the Cosmic Room.

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Sorry, Do I Know You?

Sorry, Do I Know You?

 

Without doubt life’s a weird dance. A 70+ years’performance with all the intricate twists and turns of inter-personal relationships and attachments. The longer I live the less I seem to know. Yet, maybe that’s the way it was meant to be. At the end of it all maybe we’ll just fall into the compassionate arms of Mystery having done our thing on the dance floor of space-time.

One of the most baffling elements in life is our perception of those close to us. We get to a place where we think we know them, only to be shocked and surprised by some of their newly emerging hidden layers. At times I wonder if we’re just relating to a projection of ourselves – an idealised me, rather than the real other, whoever that may be. I suspect that the majority of our daily interactions operate on this semi-delusional basis. All that we know about the other is the mask which they wear with pride. A camouflaged disguise to throw us off the scent of their inner brokenness and pain. Often, we are merely two masks boosting each others egos, a little mutual appreciation society that gets us both through the day.

Of course we can easily switch masks at the drop of a psycho-spiritual hat. Our numerous little sub-personalities, those that comprise ego, have quite a store of them from which to draw upon. A face for every situation under the sun methinks. Like some frantic trick or treater  we are skilled at flashing up a new face in order to get what we need, viz. a little care and attention to numb our debilitating internal pain. Is it any wonder that relationships come and go, prospering only to eventually hit the rocks of estrangement? Our friend has repeatedly seen all our faces and is growing totally bored with them. Time to move on and admire a new set of masks. “So long! It’s been nice knowing you, or more accurately, not knowing you!”

The dance of the masks has many stages on which to do its thing. Marriage is a classic example of such a performance area. Many marriages break down as the power of the illusion begins to lose its efficacy, finally revealing what the other person was really like all along. Paradoxically, marital mask wearing is a pretty dangerous game, for as it draws us ever closer together, we automatically open ourselves up to the possibility of our mask slipping. Our fantastical romantic projections fall away, leaving us with just another flawed human being, one crying out for authenticity and love. Shocked, some of us miraculously find a new love within, one with which to embrace the other’s now deeply apparent brokenness. Others, exhausted by the endless marrital games of hide and seek, decide enough is another and run for the nearest divorce lawyer. Licking our relational wounds we hide away until another mesmerising mask passes our way, enticing us into a brand new love dance.

Collective mask dances also prove to be potent protectors  in our ego’s defensive armoury. “There’s safety in numbers,” we reason before signing up and joining in. Bumping into numerous others on the dance floor of communal swing, makes us feel much safer for a while. Much social belonging takes this tantalising form. Yet, we interact on the basis of keeping our hidden Self behind a jolly veil of whole-hearted participation. Sadly, a high proportion of our religious involvements within those pietistic families known as church, tend to fall into this category. Churches aren’t really set up for stark realities, for such realities would explode the often superficial group dynamic almost as soon as it was established. No, we all have available to hand a convincing religious self, a devout mask with which to deal with the depth of interaction required in our particular sect of choice. Just turning up with a beatific smile each Sunday is all that’s required for some groups. Others ask a lot more of us, in terms of time, energy and above all cash, along with a zealous believer’s mask, one that reinforces the control of the collective group narrative. Yet, as soon as reality begins to break through an unwelcome chink in a member’s psycho-spiritual armour and their mask falls to the ground, the collective quickly offers them a replacement mask, one to be pitied and prayed for in the continuing religious dance. Of course, the alternative response is a swift expulsion, a communal act of isolation that sends the maskless one out into the desert darkness of unbelief.

So, when we interact with those around us today, let’s see if we can identify our mutual, multifaceted masks. For behind such veneers lie real people, those buried in the pain of ego entanglement. A little act of courage on our part, may see us removing one of our precious masks, thus allowing the other to reciprocate. The first, healing steps toward a genuinely authentic connection. Yet, to achieve such an intimate level of inter-personal knowing first requires our own internal knowing. Only Spirit can draw us into our own persoanl dark room, that Silence where we sit naked and alone with Source. But more of that next week.

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Inner Core

Inner Core

 

It’s been a funny few weeks, with my health scare and all. Last Wednesday I saw my friendly maxillofacial surgeon who confidently informed me that I had a case of solar keratosis rather than fully fledged lip cancer. Still wants to take a lip biopsy to confirm his diagnosis but it’s all good news, at least better than it was at my clinical dermatologist’s. Certainly a weight lifted off me and my good lady Zan as we walked from the clinic with a spring in our step. I’m still listening for answers within. Why now is the big question, as I’m on the verge of launching my new book! Is there a connection, a little thorn in the flesh perhaps to keep me grounded in the One I purport to write about.

This has got me thinking again at the power of the psyche-soul. The slightest sign of bad news and its off on one. Like a little defense force it pumps us full of fear, narrowing our inner world down to the goal of survival. Useful I guess for our Neolithic ancestors who ran when an enormous big beast jumped on them from a great height. But today? I suspect that we all have a psyche-soul that’s a bit oversensitive  and paranoid about making mistakes. Having left us open to the primal wounding of infancy, it’s not gone to make the same mistake again. Like some form of psycho-spiritual AWAC , it’s all too ready for signs of danger on our ground of being. Ready to launch counter strikes by our fighter sub-personalities at the drop of a misperception we fly on the wings of feeling.

So when my clinically cool dermatologist mentioned the word ‘pre-cancerous’ my personal little airforce sprung into action, stunning both body and soul into a form of lockdown. The border crossing through which spirit-breath flows and energises our everyday life is closed with immediate effect. ‘No time for this spiritually minded stuff,’ the psyche soul declares. ‘This is an emergency, code red.’

Yet in Reality it isn’t of course. It’s just a blip on the world of form. It just doesn’t feel like that as body and soul conspire to rule our conscious world, pumping it full of dreadful scenarios.’Take tour pick,’ it kindly offers. ‘ All will end up in the big wooden box – oblivion, with no beyond.’ Such a cheerful chap this psyche-soul, armed with its sense of impending doom. What power to sway and send us down the corridors of despair within seconds of its ‘Warning, Warning’ red light.

So how are we to stay sane, equipped with such a potent battery of survival powers. Well of course it’s not the whole story. Behind this little ‘me’ lies another, one from One, the Divine Spark that needs no defending. Non reactive and constantly at peace, this Self gets quickly overlooked in the frantic fray that follows an AWAC warning. Battlestations are where it’s at, but deep within we’re undisturbed and gently pulsating to the calming energy of Divine Love. So it’s all about which layer of reality we plug into. Unless we are a walking, talking Spiritual Master, our psyche-soul early warning system will always kick in. It’s what we do about it that determines our future level of peace.

Psyche-soul tends to see itself higher up the spiritual plane than it really is. It’s a ‘me’ tool for our space-time experience, a self for this world of matter and form. It was not created to control, but to be the junior dance partner in the Waltz of Being. In other words, its perceptions must be seen in the Light of a higher knowledge. The AWAC of psyche-soul isn’t the be all and end all of  perception. It’s limited in its range of Reality perception. No, for a genuine overview of our Being, spirit breath must come into play.

And how do we achieve this when all hell breaks loose? Well, we need to look within, beyond the emotional skirmishes of consciousness, to the place of peace, that dwelling place of Source. Passing down through the layers of fear we’ll find the eye of the storm – the stillness that whispers ‘Enough’. Walking in solitude, meditation, prayer; all help us leave the chattering fears of our AWAC behind. In Silence we touch base with Headquarters and the One who really knows.

So maybe that’s why we’re here in the first place. To walk through this induction process of awakening; to discover in the realm of soul that we are much more, a little drop of the Divine Ocean having its human experience.

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